Rowing recruitment at New England Boarding Schools

I would love to touch base with any parents who are knowledgeable rowing, and specifically about boarding school rowing and the recruitment process. This is for a rising 8th grader applying this year for Fall 2021. If you have been down this road before, could you kindly PM me? Thank you very much.

I’m not a parent, but I am a high school rower. I was in the recruiting process for some great US universities, but I ended up stopping the process this summer (corona was just putting too much pressure on me, and I felt like I wouldn’t have been able to handle college and rowing). For a rising 8th grader, I would suggest to just continue with regular training. I don’t know if you’re talking about recruiting in the US, but here, it usually starts at the end of sophomore year to early junior year. You won’t really know your kid’s place until the end of 10th grade. That being said, let your kid just row for the fun of it for now. The recruiting process shouldn’t become stressful until it needs to be.

I would suggest starting “extra training” towards the middle or end of sophomore year. Getting erg times down before starting communication with coaches is great. After introducing yourself early junior year, your kid should continue to work on the erg and on the water. Erg times are great, but races hold just as much importance. Your kid can set up a profile on a recruiting site, like BeRecruited, but they should do that sophomore year. They have lots of time, and a lot can change from now until recruiting (loss of passion, injury, etc.). If you have anymore questions, I may be able to help you out!

Good luck!

@riverandsasha3 Thanks so much for the information, and good luck to you.

Unfortunately I wasn’t very clear in my post - I am actually inquiring about boarding schools that recruit rowers for Prep and Soph. year.


@riverandsasha3 If you could PM, however, that would be very much appreciated.

Recruiting at prep schools isn’t as formal as college recruiting, I think. I don’t have specialized rowing knowledge, but I suspect the first step is reaching out to the coach.

You probably know this, but Hotchkiss just started a rowing program that is promising.

Calling @PhotographerMom — this is her wheelhouse, er, boathouse.

I would do two things first…

  1. Make a list of NE BS that have rowing programs.
  2. Look at college rosters to see where their teams went to school.

You will also need to consider whether you would be better off with your child at home training with a club (perhaps as a day student at BS).

And know that recruitment in BS is merely an admissions edge, not financial. (Apologies if this seems basic.)

Thank you @gardenstategal . Definitely better off as a boarder :wink:

Kent has arguably the best rowing among boarding schools and there is little if any formal recruiting (until PG) but if your child is experienced (or even if they are not) it is easy enough to open a dialog with the coach during the admissions process. I think that’s true at most schools. Few 8th graders are physically developed enough to know how they will evolve as an oarsman/woman. The majority, even on the elite boats, will have had no experience prior to boarding school.

Not rowers, but athletes at BS and have experience talking to coaches, etc. I agree with the above though that rowing (my best friend is a college crew coach) is so much about body type - she has said “give me a 6ft tall girl and I can make her a rower, what she’s done before doesn’t matter.” So I am not sure how prep school rowing compares to say soccer and basketball recruiting.

First step for anything is to reach out to the coaches. If you have erg times that are impressive for an 8th grader that is probably great. Your kid should be doing the reaching out by the way. Make sure your kid is prepped on the need to be the one to speak to coaches, etc.

Almost all prep schools have a coach contact somewhere on the athletic pages.

Good luck!